Housing Choices will facilitate a panel of people of color with disabilities who will invite you into their homes and tell you their housing story. Their lived experience will deepen your understanding of the reality behind the data showing that in San Mateo County when a person experiences the intersectional discriminatory policies and practices against both People of Color and people with disabilities, already significant housing disparities are made worse. Learn how people of color with disabilities are organizing and speaking up to address the impact of high rent, discrimination, segregation, overcrowding, unhealthy housing conditions and displacement. Listen, learn and recharge your passion for affordable housing that is truly inclusive of people of all races, incomes, and abilities.
Kalisha Webster - Moderator
Housing Coordinator– Housing Choices
Kalisha Webster has been a Housing Coordinator at Housing Choices since February 2020, where she works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living throughout San Mateo County to help them find and maintain housing. She also trains and organizes self advocates to talk to local elected officials, city and county staff, as well as, affordable housing developers about opportunities for the creation of inclusive affordable housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She helped to secure commitments at two new affordable housing developments in San Mateo County at MidPen's Kiku Crossing in San Mateo and HIP Housing's 1401 El Camino Real in Redwood City which will include set-aside units for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at deeply affordable rents, along with on-site supportive services provided by Housing Choices for individuals wanting to fulfill their goals of living independently. Kalisha hopes to continue to increase the number of housing opportunities available to San Mateo County residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through her work with Housing Choices.
Ashley Oliver has been a resident of San Mateo County for over 20 years. After being misdiagnosed as a young child she began receiving services from Golden Gate Regional Center at 14. Since graduating high school one of Ashley's lifelong goals was to live independently. For many years she worked hard to achieve that goal. She first moved out of her family home in 2016, at the age of 24, and after years of hard work and self-advocacy Ashley secured a full-time job at Facebook in December 2019. With help from Housing Choices, Ashley was able to move into her own apartment on May 9, 2020. Since moving into her own apartment Ashley has been an advocate for inclusive affordable housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ashley continues to work on being more financially stable and dreams of one day owning her own home.
Karim Tulloch is 24 years old and autistic. He is an extremely talented artist and has sold commissioned pieces. He takes classes at Community College and before COVID worked part time at an Amazon Warehouse distribution center. He has a goal of living on his own, independently.
Jenna Yee is a native of Daly City where her family still lives. In addition to having a supportive family, Jenna had a job at Walgreen's in South San Francisco as well as a Social Worker at Golden Gate Regional Center and an Independent Living skills coach. Her goal was to live independently but she could not find affordable housing in her home community where she had a great support system. When Housing Choices and First Community Housing opened 1585 Studios in Mountain View in July 2015, Jenna applied to be on the waitlist. Even though it would mean getting a new job and building a new support system in a new county with a different Regional Center, the re-location was worth it to her because she was determined to live on her own. She was initially offered a studio priced at 50% of AMI. The rent was more than $1,000/month which was a struggle for her with her part-time job. Eventually she got a second part-time job and was able to pay the rent. In the meantime, a 30% AMI studio opened up and Jenna was offered the lower rent for a 30% AMI unit. She is living successfully in her apartment with a full-time job and she has built a new support system. Jenna is an advocate for affordable housing and hopes that other people won't have to move away from their home community in San Mateo County for the sake of independence.
Kalimah Salahuddin currently serves as President for the Jefferson Union High School District Board of Education She is the immediate Past President of the San Mateo County School Boards Association (SMCSBA) where she served for two years and continues to serve as the Coordinator for the SMCSBA Equity Network. At the County level she serves on the COVID-19 Recovery Council and the Advisory Council for the Equity initiative. She was one of the founding members of the REACH Coalition to increase equity and community health for all. She also was recently appointed to the Board of the Housing Leadership Council and previously served as a Board Member for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco where she has been a regular site volunteer. She is currently employed at Exelixis as a Coordinator on the Investor Relations / Public Affairs team and is mother to three wonderful adults, her oldest being Karim Tulloch.
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